Slow Down, You’re Selling Too Fast

Red CorvetteWhen the new Corvette came out in 1984, the president of our company gave me one as a company car. My red toy had the first digital dashboard; it was like driving a video game. Slamming the gas pedal pinned you to the back of the seat. I could go from red light to red light faster than almost any other car.

An officer who gave me one of three speeding tickets awarded to the red beast told me, “Son this car looks fast standing still.” I do not believe I got anywhere any faster than I did in any other car.

My third speeding ticket came with a license suspension. I plead with the judge, “It should be illegal to make cars that go this fast.” The judge agreed, and then found me guilty.

Technology is not a license to sell faster, but it happens unintentionally because we can do more and do it faster.

In 1995, I bought a convertible. Driving fast with the top down made wind noise, so I drove slower than ever before in my life. The difference in the length of time it took me to go from point A to point B wasn’t worth measuring. I saw more, enjoyed more, was more relaxed, and virtually eliminated speeding tickets. Keeping the top down got me in the habit of driving slower.

Technology delivers more leads, more conversations, more tasks, resulting in greater expectations, and higher quotas. The inertia is mind numbing. Go on vacation, unplug and you will see the difference.  

Single Tasking is the answer. Nobody can do more than one thing at a time with real quality.

No one enjoys speaking with someone who checks their phone, laptop, or PC. No one enjoys having a conversation with someone who interrupts by accepting phone calls. No one enjoys looking at that blank stare after the interruption that says, “Where the hell were we?”

I’m as guilty of multitasking as anybody, it’s the way things work today, but when I have a conversation with you, multitasking stops because I’m all about you.

You don’t have to ditch your phone, iPad, and laptop. Here are three things to help you single task that your customers will appreciate, will increase the quality of your performance, and lower your blood pressure.

When you go on an appointment, pull out your phone, turn it off and say, “My phone is off and my time is yours.” In addition to shutting off the noise, you are making a mega statement to your customer. Not only are you setting an example that others will begin to imitate, your customer will give you better attention than normal.

Turn your laptop, iPad or tablet off. Even better, don’t even take it out. The temptation to check mail, Facebook, or Twitter is too great.  Pull out an old-fashioned pad with a big recycled logo on it and use a pen. Take plenty of notes, underline and asterisk the important stuff. Writing notes helps memory and sends a message that you are truly listening.

Stand up or leave your desk when you are on the phone. I’m a pacer; when I talk, I walk. It helps me focus and energizes me. Whomever you’re speaking with picks up on your energy and focus, or lack of. If you’re checking mail or reading a post, you’re distraction comes across. If you’re standing or walking and focused on the person you’re speaking with, they hear and feel your energy, and are turned on by it.

Single tasking is doing one thing at a time as well as you can. Excellence comes from giving your best to everything you do, one task at a time. Going from task to task faster, gains nothing.

E320 Convertible Take the top down and enjoy the drive.